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I have a dashboard created using REST from list data that contains multiple columns, including a person column that looks up to active directory. I am able to GET and display the person column with no problems, however, I'd like to add 'edit' capabilities so that dashboards users can click into the input i would use to display the current person value (as a placeholder), add a new user, click a button to POST the data to the list as a new value for the person field. Would like my dashboard input to look like below. Any way for this to be done with REST (or anything)?

example image

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I believe you are looking for the EnsureUser method on the web endpoint. https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/dn499819.aspx#bk_WebEnsureUser

Posting an account name to this service will return of the user account and if it does not exist then it will add it (to the User Information List) and then return it for you to use to use as the value of the people column.

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